5 Important Writing Tips to Give My Younger Self

*singsongs*  La da-da da-da, I’m drawing cuz my family doesn’t own a decent computer yet, la da-da da-da—

Cedillo.

AHHHHH!

Don’t scream, Cedillo!

Who—who are you?

I’m Cedillo.  I’m you ten years in the future.

But…you can’t be.  My name is—

There’s no time to waste!  I’ve been sent here to reveal to you five important writing tips that you’re really gonna wish you had known when you were younger.

Five important…what?

Writing tips!  Now, listen closely: in the future, you will be a single twenty-something hermit with no life, few friends, and a disturbing obsession with sushi.

Okay.  I don’t see how that has anything to do with writing.

It’s doesn’t.  Just…fair warning.

Oh, cool.  Thanks.

IMPORTANT WRITING TIP #1:  Each story has a different way of being written.  You’ll never be able to write a story with the same exact process, so stop friggin’ trying.  Just roll with it and see what works for this particular book.

*suddenly wearing an I HATE STRUCTURE T-shirt*  I don’t outline.

That’s fine, but be aware that different stories have different needs, and that you may need to adapt to those needs.  *clears throat*  Also, you start outlining your stories again by age twenty.

WHAT?!?

IMPORTANT WRITING TIP #2:  You can socialize with other writers.

Yeah, see, that’s gotta be wrong.  Writers are loners, right?  I mean, you can’t write if you’re too busy socializing.  And didn’t you just say you were a hermit with few friends?

I said you would be a hermit with few friends.

Whatever.  It doesn’t make sense.

The thing you don’t understand…is that writers are very misunderstood.  No one really gets writers except for other writers.  No one can commiserate or cheer you on better than someone who’s been in your same shoes.  One of the most important things you can do as a writer is surround yourself with other writers.

But do I have to talk to them?

No.  You can stand off to the side and stare at them.  Creepily.

*relieved*  Okay, cool.

IMPORTANT WRITING TIP #3:  You do not need to explain every goddamn thing in a story.  You really don’t.  People are smart, okay?  They’ll get it.

*sigh*  First you want me to socialize with people ~ now you want me to believe that they’re smart?

Shut up, I don’t need to explain myself to you.  Me.  Us.  But chances are, if you have to explain yourself, then you’re not doing enough with the actual writing.  Show, don’t tell, right?  Just follow the damn tip and see how much your writing improves.

All right, but…

IMPORTANT WRITING TIP #4:  Finding your voice is learning how to not use a voice.

What?

*sigh*  My god, you’re so dumb.

You’re dumb!

Exactly.  Look, your voice ~ your own unique style ~ is precisely that: yours.  You won’t learn it by researching voice or by mimicking the voices of others.  Only by learning to relax and let the words flow will your particular voice emerge.

Hm.  Sounds sketchy, but okay…

IMPORTANT WRITING TIP #5:  If you’re not having fun, it’s not worth the effort.  It isn’t worth your effort to write it ~ it isn’t worth your audience’s effort to read it.

But isn’t writing really hard work?  And isn’t it frustrating sometimes?

It is.  But, then again, so is child rearing!

Did you just compare writing to raising a child?

I did.  Truth is, if you can live the rest of your life with this piece of writing never being born, then don’t bother writing it.  Cool?  You got that?

Got it.

Did these five important writing tips make sense to you?

Sure.

Do you have any questions?

Besides why the heck I named myself Cedillo?  No.

Fantabulous.  Now, stare at this memory eraser disguised as a bedazzled strawberry-flavored glitter pen, and I’ll be on my way.

Wait.  What?!?

It’s the law of time travel, kid!  If you grow up already knowing these five important writing tips, then you’ll become this really cool author and have no reason to travel back in time to educate your younger self, thus destroying the space time continuum!

Oh.  Makes sense.

All right, smile and say, Utter pointlessness!

Utter— *FLASH!*

Remember ~ be true to your stories and your stories will be true to you.

*blinking*  Who are you?

Cedillo.  Good luck, kid.  *disappears*

Cedillo.  That’s a cool name.

Author: Cedillo

Cedillo is the pen name of a writer who hasn’t had the guts to tell his family that he’s a blogger yet. He lives in the American Midwest. He has a bearded dragon named Rooney. He’s been writing stories since he was five years old. He is also a girl.

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